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Kill the Queen

Crown of Shards Series, Book 1
Written by: Jennifer Estep
Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the Elemental Assassin series - an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance.

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future - or if she even has one - Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself...and kill the queen.

©2018 Jennifer Estep (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

loved

very well written. entertaining and interesting. cant wait for the next book. wonderful character building

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • LexiLikesLiterature
  • South Carolina
  • 2018-12-06

🙄🙄🙄

As a whole, I enjoyed Kill the Queen. The book has its share of gore, fighting, and villians who are actually bad. There isn't too much on any one thing in this novel and that is both good and bad at times. I started listening while I was stuck in traffic and finished it the next day. I tried to save some but like a kid I kept listening to just one more chapter until I realized it was all gone.

Our main character, Evie, is forced to flee her semi-comfortable life and seeks shelter in a traveling Gladiator camp. This character tells the reader she is 28, but to be honest the plot and background of the book is suited for a YA novel rather than Epic Fantasy. There are a couple of curse words but no sex scenes nor detailed violence that can't be seen on the common cartoon.

The book has a good flow and pace. Doesn't linger too long in any one spot. However, there are some small things that bother me. For example, Evie hints at this ultimate betrayal from her cousin 15 years ago and it is used to build tthe readers dislike of Vasalia. But when it is finally revealed I was utterly underwhelmed. It wasn't even a betrayal but more like kids being mean to each other. When you use the word betrayal then it just means something different in my eyes. The villian eventually gives you other reasons to hate her but the initial one just wasn't all that deserving of being so important and drawn out.

Also, why does Jennifer Estep like to kill off parents so much? Every book has a character whose parents get assassinated. It's predictable at this point.

The narrator does a job with this novel.

3 Stars 🌟🌟🌟- Good Book. I like the overall concept and it was delivered well. Most common ranking for a book I enjoyed and look forward to the next.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-06-11

Worst book I've read/heard in at least 5 years

I was excited about this book as it came recommended to me by a friend and who doesn't want gladiator meets game of thrones? What a let down. At first I considered that perhaps the performance was what made this book so bad, but as I continued to listen I realized that the only reason I could recognize this book as being SO BAD is because if it hadn't been an audiobook I would have stopped reading it within 15 minutes. Instead the only joy this book sparked was in finding the determination to finish it and the occasional hilariously poor phrases such as: "His mother was the King's mistress before he was born." Really??! That's kinda how those things work!
Perhaps this book was intended for a young adult or child audience (in which case the swearing may be considered inappropriate) but as an adult comparing this to the care and detail of game of thrones is a travesty.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • arlene johnson
  • Lawrenceville, NJ, US
  • 2018-12-07

very predictable. average dialog.

Reasonable juvenile fiction but the plot and characters are not well developed and the action is extremely predictable. Will not be buying other titles in this series

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • carey archer
  • GILBERT, AZ
  • 2018-10-15

Many of the same things Gin Blanco has

The story is very good it builds up to a great ending a little stereo typical, and if you read any of the elemental assassin/Jen Blanco series you’ll find so many similarities down to some of the same names, powers (ice), special abilities/ talents(cooking) and concepts. But overall, still super happy with it.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • rd
  • 2019-01-11

Started out strong

I like the idea of the story line, and it started out goid and action packed. but about halfway through, it got a predictable, and the lead character started to become annoying. not sure I'll purchase more in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 2018-10-19

Over sold,under delivers

This is not a terrible book and the narrator, Lauren Fortgang, did a really good job.

However, I could not stop thinking about the cover blurb, “gladiator meets Game of Thrones” every time there was a glaring story inconsistency. By example, the heroine is an orphan but gets an apprenticeship where she keeps commissions (?), she takes a shower in the bathroom of her private room in the castle(?!). It’s full of these types of descriptions which can be an annoyance.

All the books in the “Game of Thrones” series were meticulously consistent about world building. This author was nowhere near as vigorous in her efforts.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-14

Sigh I wanted to like it, BUT

The magic types were interesting and the story had potential, but the characters were so one-dimensional and the plot was extremely predictable. There was little to no character relationship building and there was a lot of repetition...a lot of repetition. Example of bad relationship building: I saved your life so suddenly we are now best friends who I will tell all my deepest darkest secrets to. Example of repetition: I executed the perfect Bellonan curtsy (repeated unnecessarily time and again...can’t you just say that you curtsied in the Bellonan fashion?)...predictable Vasilia’s bullying. Lots of big plot holes and revelations that happen for no good reason. The main character is immune to magic...so how is she also immune to poison? I haven’t been this disappointed by a book in a very long time. It was hard listening to it, I felt annoyed the entire time. At least the narrator was decent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Christyn Jeffries
  • 2019-05-18

Predictable, but fine

Frustratingly predictable and true to tropes, but it was interesting enough to finish. The romance angle was obvious immediately but took its sweet time advancing in the plot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Douglas
  • 2018-12-18

Slow start but worth it

Story takes awhile to create the proper setting and main character's state of mind, so the first fee chapters drag. But it's necessary if we're to understand the character growth. Only wish it could have been accomplished with fewer beginning chapters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2018-12-14

Loved it.

Fell in love with it and can't wait until the next one in the series comes out. I had a hard time stopping it so that I could go to sleep to get some rest before I had to go to work and then I would listen to it on the way to work.

Both the author and the narrator did good jobs at making this book come alive and my imagination soar to what might come next.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful